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Be an emergency aider: circulation

Learn how to deal with all sorts of bleeding, practise bandaging up your casualty, and treat them for shock.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Big pieces of paper
  • Pens or pencils
  • Sticky tack
  • Bandages
  • First aid kit

Before you begin

  • Make sure the person leading the activity knows about first aid. Someone from your group or local area with a first aid certificate could take charge, or you could reach out to places that help provide first aid training or support, for example, St John Ambulance or the British Red Cross.
  • You’ll need enough leaders for the activity, including enough people who are happy to demonstrate first aid techniques.
  • Adults should only demonstrate and practise first aid on other adults; young people should only demonstrate and practise first aid on other young people. Adults and young people should never demonstrate or practise first aid on each other.
  • Make sure you have enough bandages for everyone to practise – this is a great chance to use up any out-of-date supplies to save breaking into your first aid kit.
  • Stick two pieces of A3 paper on the wall so everyone can see them.

Chat about types of bleeding

  1. Get everyone to sit in a semi-circle and start a conversation about different types of bleeding. As they name types, write them on one of the pieces of paper. After, open the group’s first aid kit and show everyone what’s inside.
  2. Ask another adult to help show everyone how to respond to the different types of bleeding.
  3. Show everyone how to clean a minor cut or graze with water or sterile wipes and cover it with a plaster.
  1. Next show everyone how to deal with a nosebleed and demonstrate how to pinch the adult casualty’s nose and position them to help stop the bleeding. They should explain what they’re doing every step of the way.
  1. Tell everyone about severe bleeds and different things that may cause them. Show everyone how to tie a bandage around a wound, using another adult as the casualty.
  1. Everyone should get into pairs of young people. Each pair should take it in turns to practise putting a bandage on their partner. Make sure adults walk around so they can help if anyone’s finding it tricky.
  2. Once everyone’s finished practising, explain that bandaging is different if there’s a foreign object poking out of the body. They should make sure everyone knows that they shouldn’t remove the object.
  3. The adult casualty should hold a pen next to their body, as a pretend foreign object. Show everyone how to put pressure on either side of the object with bandages, until it’s secure.
  4. Everyone should get back into their pairs of young people. They should take it in turns to practise bandaging around a pen that their partner’s holding next to their body. Make sure adults walk around so they can help if anyone’s finding it tricky.

Deal with shock

  1. Explain to everyone that when someone gets hurt or injured they may go into shock. This doesn’t mean emotional shock – it’s a life-threatening condition that happens when the body isn’t getting enough oxygen to the vital organs.
  2. Everyone should work together to remember the signs and symptoms of shock. Someone should write them all on the second piece of A3 paper.
  3. Demonstrate how to treat someone for shock, using another adult as the casualty.
  1. Everyone should get back into their pairs of young people. They should take it in turns to explain how they’d look for shock, and practise treating their partner for shock. Make sure adults walk around so they can help if anyone’s finding it tricky.

Reflection

This activity helped people to be responsible. It’s useful to be able to treat everyday cuts and grazes. What is it important to do when an injury is more serious? People might think about getting help fast and treating bleeding, then treating for people to shock. This could stop an injury getting worse and even save someone’s life.

This activity was also about learning essential skills. Did people practise bandaging different parts of their partner’s body? Were any easier than others? It might have been easier to elevate an arm compared to a tummy, for example. How did people remember the signs and symptoms of shock? Different people may have found different things helpful, for example, creating a rhyme, repeating the list over and over again, or even picturing the signs and symptoms.  

Safety

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.